Exploratory Classes

Exploratory Staff

North offers students the following exploratory classes to supplement the instruction in their content classes, and provide students an opportunity to explore their interests, gifts, and talents.

Art

In Visual Art we have been learning how to alter books into Visual Journals and adding art/ journal entries on a weekly basis. These have been very personal for the 7th and 8th graders and a few of them have won awards already!

6th grade has been learning color theory and how to mix colors. They used modeling clay to create a new color palette and make miniatures of their favorite things. These were impressive! Some made characters or places and many made miniature foods.

The Festival of the Arts (APS Art Show) has been happening through the middle of April. Art from the entire year was selected to be on display in the Aurora Mall, and I am proud to announce that we had 3 exceptional artworks win from North!

Keep an eye out for our final project, It will involve families and FOOD

Music

Our 7th and 8th grade music classes are preparing for our next concert on Thursday, May 18th. The theme of the concert is WE MAKE A WAY OUT OF NO WAY, and students have been working on a variety of songs around the theme of perseverance and overcoming obstacles in life. Modern Band has been focused on playing songs as a band including I Ain't Worried from the movie Top Gun: Maverick, Sunroof by Nicky Yours, and A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke. We are also continuing regular improvisation and songwriting activities.

The North Middle School choir is also preparing for the concert with songs like My Shot from the musical Hamilton and Stand Up by Cynthia Erivo. We are excited to share another concert of music with you at our May concert!

6th Grade Music Arts has had a strong start this month, and we have already learned about the ukulele, guitar, and piano. Next week we start drums and we will continue learning about vocals, synthesizers, and songwriting in the next month!

Physical Education

In Physical Education classes, students are currently learning the 5 Health- Related Fitness Components and how they impact one’s overall well-being. They are engaging in fitness activities in the large gym, playing games that incorporate fitness and fun, and participating in games such as Team Handball, Badminton, Flag Football, and Soccer.

In our small gym, students are engaged in team and individual fitness exercises. They are learning about their heart rate and the different zones as they ride our stationary bikes, jump over and on our plyo-boxes, throw and catch medicine balls, cross our slackline, stand on balance equipment, and box with our bags and Oculus technology. Students are also participating in obstacle courses to challenge their balance, coordination, and agility at different levels.

An important announcement for all parents and students…At the end of April, the large gym will be shut down for construction for the remainder of the year. Teachers have made plans for inclement weather if needed, however, students will need to bring their jackets and a water bottle for classes in case it is a little chilly outside. We look forward to seeing our new gym floor when we return from summer break!

*Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM)

The STEM Future Engineers will engage in the following activities for Quarter 4 of the school year 2022-2023:

-6th grade will continue with the high-level block-based visual programming language and website, Scratch App creating digital art, storytelling, music and animation through coding. Students will transfer coding skills to CoSpaces App creating advanced digital mazes and ending with Makey Makey-Snap Circuits learning the fundamentals behind circuitry and how circuits are used in all of the technological devices we use today.

-7th/8th Grade students will continue to explore Minecraft, a virtual sandbox where they can explore and create a digital world of local architectural monuments following the engineer design process. Students will continue advanced programming with Sphero robotics and Drones with team created obstacle courses.

Media Arts

Recently in our North Tech Production class we have been improving our North News weekly program with new equipment, techniques and stories. As we go through the year our students develop more of a specialized skill set within their production roles, these advancements in their tech abilities show in the quality of our programming and its content. If you would like to see some North News content students and staff alike have access to share these episodes with family members. This week a group of Production students, myself and other North staff took a trip to Central High School for a film project with the goal of producing a video for 8th grade students transitioning to high school. It was a great experience for all and in the coming weeks we will finish our post production process to share this video with all 8th grade students that have many questions about their transition from middle school.

For our Media Arts group, 6th grade, we just completed our Media Literacy sections. Our Media Literacy curriculum is meant to ensure student awareness and safety online. We covered Digital Citizenship, Copyright, Fair Use, Public Domain, Visual Literacy, Censorship and understanding Demographics within targeted advertising. In the coming months we will be exploring Photography, Short films, Documentaries, Graphic Design, Investigative Journalism, Broadcast Journalism, Filmmaking and Digital Music Production.

Our Yearbook class consists of only 8th grade students that are committed to ensuring that the book leaves their legacy at North and is inclusive of all learners and staff that create our community. The Yearbook team has been working on the book since the first month of school and our final submission is due no later than 4/7/23, books will then be printed and delivered to the school in early May. Once complete this group will transition to a production class, the goal of this time of year is to help create content for our 8th grade end of year assembly. We will produce farewell videos from staff and multiple slideshows featuring our 8th grade graduates, we hope to provide 20-30 minutes of heartwarming content to show how much impact these students have had on our community and how much they will be missed.